|Carlos Beltran, 15, celebrated his grand slam in the fifth inning. (NYTimes.com)|
Jason Bay ended New York's 299-game grand slam drought, and Carlos Beltran followed with one of his own, as the Mets blasted the Tigers, 14-3, to get over the .500 mark for the first time since early April.
The Good Stuff:
- With two outs in the top of the 4th, the Mets got an offensive spark from the most unlikely of sources: #9 hitter Josh Thole, who promptly hit his first home run of the year. Then after a ho-hum triple from Jose Reyes (his 15th), Willie Harris hit the longest single you'll ever see to the wall in right to score Reyes. Carlos Beltran singled and so did Daniel Murphy, bringing home Harris. After a wild pitch and a walk to Angel Pagan, Jason Bay stepped up to the plate.
- In the back of every Met fan's mind was this date: August 1, 2009. That was the last time the Amazin's hit a grand slam (Pagan). Since that date, New York had been out-slammed 18-0, the longest stretch in baseball history. The slamless streak had lasted 299 games. And Jason Bay wasn't about to let it get to 300.
- On a 2-1 fastball, Bay cracked a towering shot down the left field line, the kind of shot where you don't need to run on it. It's either foul or long-gone. Well, this was of the long-gone variety. And just like that, the New York Mets had hit a grand slam, capping a 7-run 4th and building the lead to a nearly-insurmountable 9-0.
- In the next inning, Justin Turner walked and Reyes hit a long double that barely stayed in the park. Harris was hit by the pitch, and up came Carlos Beltran. By this time Mets fans already figure the next time they see another grand slam is sometime around Memorial Day 2013. After all, New York had to wait two years between slams. This time, they waited two outs. Beltran hit a towering flyball that any other day would have been a sac fly. But the ball got caught in the wind, and it kept carrying. And carrying. And carrying. All the way over the fence. Now it was grand slams in consecutive innings, and the lead was now a literally-insurmountable 13-0.
- It's hard to believe, but taking a backseat on this night was Jose being Jose. Reyes got on base every time he stepped up, going 4-4 with a double, a triple, a stolen base, and a walk. He was pulled in the 7th, first not to risk injury in a laugher, second not to get him trying to hit home runs and messing up this blistering groove. That makes it .349, 117 hits, 40 multi-hit games, 64 runs, 29 stolen bases, 21 doubles, 15 triples. I used my haiku on Sunday, so I don't know what else to say. Let's just let the stats tell the story.
- In total, all 9 starters got a hit, 8 scored a run, and 7 had an RBI in a 14-run, 18 hit trouncing. The Mets have now scored 36 runs and totaled 49 hits over the past 3 games. I can think of only one song that can describe the Amazin' bats right now:
- That was fun.
- Oh by the way, there was some pitching today, too. R.A. Dickey held Detroit in check for as long as was needed, then put it in cruise control after the game was out of reach. He lasted 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 10 hits, including a huge strikeout of Victor Martinez in the 3rd with the bases loaded.
- Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta mopped up with 2 perfect innings.
- New York got kinda sloppy in the field once the lead reached double digits, but can you blame them? As long as it doesn't become habit, which knowing Terry Collins it won't, it's all good.
In the past three years, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Mets game as fun to watch as this one. Two grand slams, Reyes goes 4-4, and oh, by the way, a winning record at 40-39 for the first time since they were 3-2 back in April. Enjoy this night, New York fans, because this was special. For one night at least, the Amazin' Mets were on top of the baseball world.
P.S. Here's a nice article in the New York Times about Joe Petruccio, who also blogs about the Mets by sketching a summary of each game. You can also find his work at http://mymetsjournal.blogspot.com/